The Price Is Right is a television game show franchise originally produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, and created by Bob Stewart, and is currently produced and owned by FremantleMedia. The franchise centers on television game shows, but also includes merchandise such as video games, printed media, and board games. The franchise began in 1956 as a television game show hosted by Bill Cullen and was revamped in 1972.
In the show, contestants compete to win cash and prizes by guessing the pricing of merchandise. The program has been critically successful and remains a stalwart in the television ratings. It also managed to break away from the quiz show format that has been used in other game shows. Since the current version premiered, it has also been adapted in several international formats around the world, most notably in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Mexico. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it #5 in its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.
Bob Barker hosted from 4 September 1972 to 15 June 2007. During his 35-year reign of TPIR, Barker won numerous awards and honors including Daytime Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Directors of the show included Mark Breslow, Paul Alter, and Bart Eskander, with Eskander receiving a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Direction of a Game Show. Producer Roger Dobkowitz won a Daytime Emmy for his work on the show, which included the development of many of the show's games that are still being played today.
After a season-long search for a successor, Drew Carey took the helm of the show, with production resuming in August 2007, and his first episode airing 15 October. It is believed to be the second longest-running game show on television, trailing only the Spanish-language variety show Sábado Gigante; it is also the longest running five-days-a-week game show in the world. It is the only game show franchise to be seen nationally in either first-run network or syndication airings in the U.S. in every decade from the 1950s onward. CBS has occasionally aired extra episodes of the show for short periods between the cancellation of one daytime program and the premiere of its successor. On occasion since 1986, special episodes have occasionally aired during prime time hours, most notably to fill in gaps between the Survivor series, and the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.
Johnny Olson, the announcer for many Goodson-Todman shows of the era, was the program's original announcer until his death in October 1985. Olson was replaced by Rod Roddy in February 1986, who remained with the program until shortly before his death in October 2003. Los Angeles meteorologist Rich Fields took over as the announcer in April 2004 and stayed on until the end of season 38 in August 2010. Following a change of direction and a search for an announcer with more experience in improvisational comedy, veteran TV host George Gray was confirmed as the show's current announcer on the 18 April 2011 episode. During periods in which a permanent announcer was not filling the role, a number of announcers auditioned for the position. In addition to Gray, TV host JD Roberto, comedians Jeff Davis, Brad Sherwood, and David H. Lawrence XVII, and actor/comedian Steve White also auditioned for the role after Fields left.
On 22 September 2008, Terry Kneiss made game show history by bidding the exact amount of his $23,743 showcase. Taping of the show immediately stopped, with Drew Carey and show staffers concerned that cheating was taking place. It was later learned that Kneiss and his wife Linda, who was in the studio audience, had, by constantly watching the show, noticing the frequency of certain products showing up on the show, and using statistical analysis, legitimately determined the exact prices of the items in the showcase. The Kneisses were awarded the prizes, and the show subsequently discontinued featuring certain products.
On April Fools' Day, 2014, Craig Ferguson and Drew Carey switched hosting duties, with Carey hosting the The Late Late Show and Ferguson taking over the hosting duties on TPIR. The episode also featured Shadoe Stevens as announcer, and sidekicks Geoff Peterson (a robot skeleton), and "Secretariat" (a pantomime horse).
Models Rachel Reynolds, Manuela Arbeláez, and Gwendolyn Osborne were called onstage from the audience to participate in Improv-A-Ganza 28.